In This Issue
+ Search Engine Watch News
+ Search Engine Strategies Comes To San Jose!
+ Search Engine Watch Member Articles
+ Search Engine Watch Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ Search Engine Resources
+ About The Newsletter
Search Engine Watch News
I've updated the Nielsen NetRatings Search Engine Ratings page, which you'll find via the URL below. Moving forward to the comScore ratings page next, among other things. A link will also be posted on the URL below, when that's ready.
Search Engine Watch What's New
In just over two weeks, Search Engine Strategies begins in San Jose! There are over 60 sessions ranging from the fundamentals of search engine marketing to tracks looking at the business aspects of search engine marketing and getting inside the minds of searchers.
Want more details about what's going on? The conference's Session Planner (http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/summer04/planner.html) provides a guide to sessions organized around interest areas or experience. The Conference At A Glance page (http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/summer04/glance.html) makes it easy to see all the various sessions in one go.
In addition to conference sessions, the show also has an expo hall. A guide to companies exhibiting can be found here: http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/summer04/exhibitors.html.
As the show has grown, so have the special events that are offered. SEMPO will meeting, KeywordRanking.com is hosting a cocktail reception, Verizon is offering a product showcase and Google is hosting its third annual Google Dance. More info on all of these events can be found here: http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/summer04/specialevents.html.
Don't miss out! Full details about all that's offered and registration information can be found here:
Search Engine Strategies San Jose: August 2-5, 2004
SES also comes to Stockholm from October 27-28, and the year ends with a December 13-16 show in Chicago. Basic information about these shows can be found via the URL below:
Search Engine Strategies
Search Engine Watch Member Articles
Meet The Crawlers
SearchDay, July 21, 2004
Representatives of Yahoo, Google, Ask Jeeves and LookSmart offer a inside glimpse of how they operate under the hood. This version of the article for Search Engine Watch members goes into more detail about Yahoo's free and paid inclusion programs, Google's recommended tips for webmasters, an update on Google's advertising programs, questionable optimization tactics all of the engines consider borderline spam, and much more. NOTE: This is a report that came out of our last SES show in March, and because of other news stories since then, it's been bumped back. Apologies for the late release!
Growing a Successful Search Marketing Business
SearchDay, July 13, 2004
Building a search marketing company holds the promise of both meaningful profits and a lot of fun -- but it takes hard work and some savvy business sense to be truly successful. This version of the article for Search Engine Watch members offers additional tips and strategies for search marketing professionals, including how to deal with undesirable clients, dealing with ad agencies, and crucial staff positions to consider.
Search Engine Watch Articles
Here's a recap of major articles and some interesting forum discussions from Search Engine Watch since the last newsletter:
Report Says Search Needs More Inventory
Search Engine Watch, July 21, 2004
A new report suggests that a lack of supply may drive prices so far up that it slows the growth of search advertising.
How Much is a Search Marketing Firm Worth?
SearchDay, July 20, 2004
In recent months we've seen a wave of small search marketing firms selling to larger buyers. How much are search engine marketing companies worth? If you own a firm, when is the right time to sell?
The Current Time, Around the World
SearchDay, July 19, 2004
Need to know what time it is in Ouagadougou? Wondering if your colleague on the other side of the planet is awake or asleep? No need to search for it: Timeticker displays the current time for dozens of countries throughout the world.
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, July 16, 2004
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Improving The Reputation Of The SEM Industry - Local Search Seen Hurting Local Media - Launching Content and e-Commerce Sites - Yahoo Category Links Gone Away? - About.com Links - Automated Link Exchange Backlash - Google Introduces Key Name Search Into Toolbar - $39.99 to Get Listed in Some Directory? - Different Stats In Different Stats Software
Google Toolbar Adds Keyword Browsing to Internet Explorer
SearchDay, July 15, 2004
Google has added a keyword based browsing feature to its toolbar, allowing users to type words rather than URLs into the Internet Explorer address bar and automatically see the 'most relevant' site for those terms.
Yahoo Category Links Gone Away?
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 14, 2004
I've written before of the value in getting "detour traffic" by being listed within the Yahoo Directory. Recent changes to Yahoo effectively end that detour value, in my book. A graphical look at how category links for the Yahoo Directory used to reign supreme but now are an afterthought.
Network Solutions Offers Enhanced Whois Lookup
SearchDay, July 14, 2004
Want detailed information about a particular web site? Network Solutions has significantly enhanced their classic Whois service, providing richer information and more useful tools than most other domain lookup services.
Improving The Reputation Of The SEM Industry
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 17, 2004
I haven't felt like it's been a good couple of weeks for the SEM industry -- and I explain why in the kickoff to this thread. Is it time for there to be an SEM whitelist? Does the industry need a code of conduct? Is the status quo OK? Debate and discussion on the topic, along with some spin-off threads: An SEM Code Of Conduct?, http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=596 and Should There Be A Spam Checking Tool?, http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=594.
Here are also some related articles that I will also try to wrap-up into one big article on this topic in the future: Integration Concentration, http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/3836.asp (be sure to read both parts); Seth Pokes the SEO Hive, Gets Stung, http://www.traffick.com/article.asp?aID=164; Seth Godin: Most SEO Not Worth the Money, http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=483; Search Turf War: Industry Growth Foments Tension Among Mutually Reliant, http://www.mediapost.com/dtls_dsp_news.cfm?newsID=259130
A Visual Search Engine for Music
SearchDay, July 12, 2004
Want to find music similar to what you already enjoy? Musicplasma creates intriguing music maps revealing connections between musicians, styles and musical epochs.
MSN Search Employee Arrested for Allegedly Hacking AltaVista
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 12, 2004
A former AltaVista employee is accused of taking some of AltaVista's source code. Now he works for MSN on search -- though the alleged theft happened before that employment.
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, July 9, 2004
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Threats and Opportunities of Search Engine Marketing - 90% of All Usability Testing is Useless... - Google Trademarks Targeted by Kids' Site Googles - How Do I Best 'Direct' Adsense? - If You Could Spam the Search Engines & Never Be Caught... - Yahoo searching tips & shortcuts - Seth Godin Interrogates SEO - New Yahoo Beta Design
Ad Agencies & Search Engine Marketing Firms Beginning to Play Together
SearchDay, July 8, 2004
Advertising agencies are spending more on search engine marketing, with one in five marketers buying in excess of 1,000 keywords, according to Jupiter Research.
Behind the Scenes at Yahoo Labs, Part 3
SearchDay, July 7, 2004
The head of Yahoo Labs talks about the competition, the challenge of balancing searcher needs with webmaster desires, the future, and the next big thing in web search.
GoTo.com Leads To Go2-Branded My Way
Search Engine Watch Forums, July 7, 2004
GoTo was the original name of Overture, and GoTo.com was the company's original domain name. Years later, plenty of links to GoTo.com remain -- and now send people to search results from MyWay. Ask Jeeves owns MyWay, and this particular version benefiting from the GoTo traffic a cobranded one run by Go2. Follow the bouncing ball of this story here.
Want to receive new Search Engine Watch articles every day? Sign-up for SearchDay, the free daily newsletter from Search Engine Watch. Also keep up with news and discussion via the Search Engine Watch Forums. Links to both are below.
Search Engine Watch Forums
Search Engine Articles
Various Search Industry Interviews
Search Engine Lowdown, July 2004
Andy Beal's celebrating one year of putting out an excellent search blog with short interviews from various people involved with search. It's easiest to find them by scrolling down this page. Interviews include Search Engine College founder Kalena Jordan, Traffick's Andrew Goodman, Search Engine Roundtable's Barry Schwartz, Alan Meckler, CEO of Jupitermedia, which publishes Search Engine Watch and SearchDay editor Chris Sherman.
Interview with Link Specialist, Jim Boykin, of We Build Pages
Search Engine Roundtable, July 20, 2004
Link builder Jim Boykin shares thoughts on building, brokering and swapping links.
The Strategy of Search
SearchEnginePosition.com, July 20, 2004
Get out of the trenches of search marketing from time-to-time and make sure that your overall strategies are well-grounded. How to do this? Get to know your customers and understand how they search.
Google is working with several universities to make searching across their digital collections easier.
Looks at how Yahoo is the last major search engine to still offer paid inclusion within its web results, an amazing change given that just over four months ago, everyone but Google was offering this. Similar coverage from Wired: http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,64092,00.html. From ClickZ, also a look at the issue, using a single case study as proof that paid inclusion can improve relevance and that without it, content wouldn't be found: http://www.clickz.com/features/case_studies/article.php/3382931.
Suffice to say, plenty of sites have found ways to get their "hidden" content found without paid inclusion. In fact, that's been essential for ages, since otherwise, these sites would lose visibility on Google. Paid inclusion just makes the solution easier for those with budgets -- and if relevancy is improved by having this content, then what happens when the budget runs out and it disappears?
As a reminder, the latest in my series on paid inclusion is here: http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3369651. The issues are complex -- that's why I still have one or two more parts to go.
Overture vs. Google AdWords
Search Engine Guide, July 19, 2004
Very nice compare-and-contrast to some key differences to between how paid listings work at Google and Overture.
Tips on using search engine ads to also help with your natural SEO campaigns.
Ask Jeeves searches for profits, gets results
San Francisco Chronicle, July 19, 2004
Profile on Ask Jeeves working to secure and grow its position among the majors of search. I still think the strategy of running multiple web properties will be tough to pull off. Others haven't had great success with it. One property tends to end up as the favored child. With Excite, the WebCrawler and Magellan properties ended up getting neglected. Lycos left HotBot to fester for ages. But there's no doubt the acquisition of ISH has helped Ask immediately gain a larger share. Some more discussion on this over here: Following the Ratings - Ask Jeeves Moving Up, http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=393. And more coverage of Ask developments also here, Ask Jeeves CEO: Technology Matters in Web Search, http://www.eweek.com/print_article/0,1761,a=131225,00.asp
Nice long look at the issue of bogus clicks, how search engines monitor for it, but how marketers still have to watch out for themselves. Want some tips to protect yourself? Check out Jessie Stricchiola's guide, Click Fraud - An Overview, http://www.alchemistmedia.com/CPC_Click_Fraud.htm
MSN has purchased a firm that makes searching through Outlook's email data easier, along with desktop searching. I know of at least two other tools that also allow Outlook searching, which are mentioned here: http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3334241. But the acquisition suggests that Microsoft may finally improve the native searching within Outlook, plus perhaps make use of the technology and human resources to improve web and desktop searching.
Web schools teach search engine mechanics
Stuff.co.nz, July 15, 2004
A look at Kalena Jordan's new Search Engine College and how Overture has lent its support.
Searching for The New York Times
Wired, July 14, 2004
"How can the mighty New York Times, which considers itself America's paper of record, be the paper of record in cyberspace when its articles barely show up on Google," the story asks. The answer is easy. Because the New York Times pulls much of its content behind password protection after about a week. If the page is no longer accessible, people can no longer link to it (which helps with search ranking), and the actual content of the story is lost.
The NYT apparently doesn't care, figuring that the money it makes off of archive sales and database searches is more important than Google traffic. Plus, not mentioned is the fact that many stories will show up within Google News for up to a month through a special crawling deal that's been arranged with Google.
Don't want to pay or want to link to a story and have the link remain working? Just add this to the end of any NYT URL: &partner=USERLAND. That will let you read the article courtesy of a deal blogger Dave Winer arranged, as described here: http://davenet.scripting.com/2003/06/06/newYorkTimesArchiveAndWeblogs. It's supposedly just for weblogs, but it will work for any web site or within any web browser. You can also use this tool described in the article above if you want to automate the process: http://nytimes.blogspace.com/genlink
Selecting a Search Marketing Partner Webinar Breakdown
Search Engine Lowdown, July 14, 2004
Long rundown on the webinar Search Engine Watch associate editor Chris Sherman held on how to select a search engine marketing firm.
Google's Patrick Keane Afraid of Search Engine Optimizers
Search Engine Lowdown, July 13, 2004
Andy Beal comes away shocked/angered/stunned (and understandably so) that a Google representative seemingly suggests that SEM companies can't help people improve rankings. Of course they can. They can't guarantee this, but often someone who understand search engine optimization can certainly help. Google itself says that firms may be useful in its help pages, as I describe more here: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?p=5471#post5471. Google tells me it still stands by those pages, as described here: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?p=6008#post6008
Rumor has it, AV search is in the works at Google.
My life changed when I started using Adobe Photoshop Album earlier this year, in terms of how I organize my digital photos. With only minor work to tag my photos, I can now instantly find all those showing my kids, my wife, taken at Disneyland, at Stonehenge, during a birthday, at Christmas and so on. Apparently, Picasa is a similar photo search and organization tool. It was just picked up by Google, which gives the company its first solid entry into desktop searching, at least in terms of photos. Plus, the ability to build online photo albums gives Google a new way to lock people to its portal.
More consolidation in the search engine marketing space, as email marketing provide Digital Impact picks up SEM firm Marketleap in a deal valued at $3.8 million.
The most important upgrade Yahoo made to its email system last June (see http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3367771) wasn't increased storage. Instead, it was that the speed of searching dropped from taking as long as a minute to Gmail like sub-second times. Nevertheless, Yahoo apparently sees more work to do as it competes with Google over this portal feature, given the acquisition of Oddpost, an online email provider.
Looks at moves by online yellow pages to win some of the search advertising spend happening online. Nice anecdote of a newly converted SuperPages buyer pleased with what appears to be great conversion. But Yahoo and Google are hardly beat, given that he says he's not going to drop them.
Fredrick Marckini changes his mind and decides that affiliates can be a good thing in search engine marketing, after talking with a number of merchants. But there are still issues to consider.
Been thinking about online yellow pages? Here's a short guide to major programs to consider, as well as how new local search ads may be appearing in them.
Seasonality Descends on Searches
Wall St. Journal, July 9, 2004
Yahoo says paid listing revenue and query volume showed no major rise from the previous quarter, causing financial analysts to fear the paid search boom is over. Yahoo says it's a seasonal thing. Apparently, it hasn't been noticed as strongly in the past because of other factors that have pushed growth up. More coverage also here: http://news.com.com/2100-1024_3-5260471.html
A site about children's characters called Googles, created before Google existed, has filed a trademark infringement action against Google. In particular, it revolves around the right to use the word Google for a children's market.
Single Post Wins Google Contest
Wired, July 8, 2004
Blogger Anil Dash won the second and final round in the Nigritude Ultramarine SEO contest. Unlike what the story says, Dash indeed did win through backlinking, not because of a single post. He benefited from having the many readers of his blog backlink to him using the words "nigritude ultramarine" in their links. For more background on the contest, see my past article: The Nigritude Ultramarine Search Engine Optimization Contest, http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/article.php/3360231. Also nice screenshots at the official competition web site: http://www.seochallenge.com/
Web ad for lawyer linked to competitor spurs dispute
The Courier-Journal, July 6, 2004
A Kentucky lawyer objects to a competitor buying an ad that shows up for his name. I like the part where the competitor thinks he has a constitutional right to do this. Legally, advertising laws may not forbid it. But search engines have their own policies -- and given these are ads, the US constitution doesn't provide much, if any, protection to him should they decide to weigh in.
How to get your RSS feed listed in the Yahoo search engine
Pandia, July 6, 2004
Tips on how to get Yahoo to recognize you offer a web feed (RSS/Atom) and display this alongside your listing in search results. A few more tips also right at the top here: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum35/2491.htm
Search Engine Resources
Want to search your hard drive? Blinkx is designed to do this, plus provide the ability to search the web, as well. It's similar to what many expect Microsoft will one day try to do or that Google itself is rumored to be doing.
I'm wary of tools like Blinkx that are pitched as if they will eliminate keyword searching. Kenjin was exactly such a tool that Autonomy rolled out back in 2000 promising to put "search engines in the dustbin," in one PR quote that I recall. Read the release from the time for more hype about how our lives were going to change: http://www.autonomy.com/c/content/Press/Archives/2000/0329.html.
The idea was that you'd show Kenjin a "perfect" document, then have it go out and find others that matched. Kenjin failed, and the reason is pretty clear. How do you show it the perfect document, if you don't have it to show already? I know -- you use a search engine!
Blinkx is apparently using some of Kenjin's technology, plus resurrecting some of that hype -- but this time, a search box is also present. Reviews of the products can be found here: http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3376491, Gary Price has a nice long rundown here, http://www.resourceshelf.com/2004/06/search-web-news-and-your-computer-with.html and there's a recent Boston Globe review here, http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2004/07/19/software_searches_without_being_asked/
I downloaded a copy but couldn't get it to work -- you might have more luck. The site also offers an interesting online search feature for those with broadband connections, with some fun visualization tools to play with.
Who's linking to you in the blog and web feed world? A new feature at Feedster lets you measure via its database.
Billed as an engineering search engine, this is designed to help you find products and suppliers related to engineering, as well as general engineering information. It claims to have indexed information from over 100,000 engineering-specific web sites.
Here's a handy online tool to let you see a text-only version of a page, giving you the idea of what a spider might see. Thanks to SEW Forum member qwerty (http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/member.php?u=81) for the tip!
Enter a URL, then get back its Google PageRank score, Alexa traffic rank and a count of backlinks from Yahoo.
Meta search major medical search engines and databases from this new service. More info about it can also be found here: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=571
New free online tool to rank check Yahoo listings.
Want to stream live what people are asking at the Wondir question answering search engine? Here's the free code to do so.
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The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!